students participated in youth education initiatives
Inspiring life-long learning of natural and environmental history
At the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, science and the natural world come to life for students as they explore educational exhibitions, experience films in the giant-screen theater and engage in curriculum-based programs.
The museum, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2017, is one of the most popular cultural attractions in Atlanta. New outdoor learning opportunities are now available to students with the recently opened Fernbank Forest and WildWoods, said Kayla Rumpfeldt, public relations coordinator.
With the addition of 75 acres, students can now explore more than two miles of paths winding through the Fernbank Forest and view the natural world through two tree pods suspended in the canopy. Students can now participate in four new outdoor educational programs that feature hands-on, active learning in nature.
“The Fernbank Youth Education Initiative served more than 400,000 people in 2017, engaging them with science, environmental and cultural education that broadens their worldview and creates shared family learning opportunities,” she said. “Of this number, 17,000 of the 60,000 students who visited last year were from low-income families and received scholarship admissions assistance.”
Ron Hinson, formerly Georgia Power’s chief financial officer and recently retired, has served on Fernbank’s board of trustees for five years and just began a two-year term as chairman of the board. “The programs they can do there are phenomenal. The museum is always filled with students. Clearly, there is a need to have that kind of educational resource available to students where the can learn about nature and science. Local school systems are looking for ways to enhance education of students,” he said.
From the new on-site amenities, to the hands-on and unique learning experiences curated by their teaching scientists, Fernbank is in a stronger place than ever to fulfill their educational mission.
“This mission is to inspire life-long learning of natural history through immersive programming and unmatched experiences to encourage a greater appreciation of our planet and its inhabitants,” said Rumpfeldt.
Other educational programs offered to support this mission include Urban Watch, which connects middle and high school students with Fernbank Forest; Discovery Days for families with children; and summer STEM-focused programming.
“I think the biggest benefit to students is the diverse options that we offer. With the vastness of programs offered, you can’t be bored!”